Traveling with diabetes: Tips for packing and snacking
Traveling with diabetes requires some extra planning. But having diabetes shouldn't stop you from exploring the world. You just need a precise plan to take extra care of your health needs. A change in diet, activity levels, change in weather, and time zones - all influence your blood sugar levels. Here are five tips to manage your diabetes on vacation.
Get a prescription from your doctor
The first thing to do after finalizing your destination and booking your tickets is to visit your doctor and get his prescription. Ask your doctor to give an updated assessment of your glycemic control. Also, ask your doctor to write a note explaining your condition and the medicines you need. Make a few copies of the prescription in case you misplace it.
Keep your medicines within reach
If you are traveling on an airplane, don't keep your medicines and insulin in checked luggage. Always keep them handy in your backpack stored in your overhead bin. Carrying medicines with you also helps, in case medicines are not available at the place you are traveling to. Carry the prescription along with your medicines with their generic names and dosages.
Check the weather conditions of the destination
Extreme weather conditions can adversely affect your health if you have diabetes. People with diabetes are sensitive to heat exhaustion or cold exposure, so you may need to test your blood sugar often and adjust your insulin dose and what you eat and drink. While high temperatures can change how your body uses insulin, extreme cold can cause your glucose monitor to stop working.
Pack healthy snacks
When traveling, avoiding junk food becomes tough. Stay away from junk food as much as possible as it could be detrimental to your health. When traveling, the food options for diabetics are limited. Healthy snacks that you can pack include almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, avocados, fresh fruits and vegetables, tuna salad, black bean salad, low-fat cheese and whole grain crackers, yogurt, boiled eggs, etc.
Store insulin safely
Pack your insulin in an insulated bag to prevent damage. Keep the insulin in their original vials and put it in your bag along with reusable ice gel packs. Do not keep your insulin in the bags to be checked in, always keep it handy. Once you arrive at your destination, immediately keep your unopened insulin vials in the fridge.